Alex Wood had a terrific bounce-back game and was remarkably efficient, leading the Dodgers to a 2-0 win over the Rockies on Wednesday night at Dodger Stadium.
The win gave the Dodgers seven straight series wins, the longest active streak in baseball, and lowered their magic number to clinch the National League West to just 10.
Wood, who was only able to record five outs while allowing eight runs last Friday in Arizona, was brilliant on Wednesday night against Colorado. He allowed a second-inning single to Kyle Parker with two outs, then nothing the rest of the way.
Wood retired his final 19 batters faced, striking out five in his eight scoreless innings, getting 13 ground ball outs. But despite only throwing 78 pitches, manager Don Mattingly opted to pull Wood after eight innings, with the Rockies' eighth, ninth and leadoff hitters due up in the ninth.
It led to a comical exchange in the Dodgers dugout:
Alex Wood didn't want to shake Don Mattingly's hand in between innings. Wood wanted the CG but Jansen will be in. pic.twitter.com/gDbVMWXfLO— Ryan Walton (@RyanWaltonMLB) September 17, 2015
It was the 11th start by a Dodgers pitcher this year with at least eight innings and no runs allowed — six by Clayton Kershaw, three by Zack Greinke and once by Mike Bolsinger.
Kenley Jansen recorded the final three outs for his 32nd save.
The Dodgers got on the board early with a run in the second, thanks to a home run by catcher A.J. Ellis, batting fifth for a second straight night. It was the sixth home run for Ellis, all coming in his last 25 games and 21 starts. He also walked.
But Ellis has hit too well for too long to cherry pick endpoints. On the season, Ellis it hitting .232/.352/.391 with a .330 wOBA and a 111 wRC+ that ranks 10th among the 63 catchers in baseball with at least 100 plate appearances in 2015.
Corey Seager batted fourth in just his 13th major league game on Wednesday, and at 21 years, 142 days old was the youngest Dodgers cleanup hitter since Derrell Griffth in 1964, per Jon Weisman of Dodger Insider.
Seager had two hits on the night, his seventh multi-hit game in 12 starts and third in a row, including a two-out RBI single in the sixth inning to drive home leadoff man Austin Barnes, who doubled. Both hits for Seager came against Rockies starter Jorge De La Rosa, improving the rookie's numbers against left-handed pitchers, now 7-for-20 (.350) with a double, four RBI, three walks and two strikeouts against them.
The Dodgers are off on Thursday, their final off day of the regular season, before welcoming the Pirates to town for a three-game weekend series. Zack Greinke starts the series opener on Friday night, facing off against Jeff Locke for Pittsburgh.
Home run: A.J. Ellis (6)
WP - Alex Wood (11-10): 8 IP, 1 hit, 5 strikeouts
LP - Jorge De La Rosa (9-7): 8 IP, 6 hits, 2 runs, 1 walk, 5 strikeouts
Sv - Kenley Jansen (32): 1 IP, 1 hit, 2 strikeouts